• Muzik First

CANADIAN SPOTLIGHT: AVRIL LAVIGNE

Canadian singer Avril Lavigne released her second studio album, "Under My Skin," on May 19, 2004, by Arista Records and RCA Records. Having conquered the pop charts by refusing to get dirty. No skimpy clothes, no suggestive dancing, no tabloid adventures, no hip-hop collaborations, no provocative lyrics. Fourteen million people bought the 19-year-old Canadian's debut album "Let Go," but unless you're a parent or a teacher, you are unlikely to know any of them intimately.

The best-known for her songs on "Let Go" are including omnipresent singles "Complicated" and "Sk8r Boi", a production team famed for working with such ungovernable musical insurrection forces as Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, and Pop Idol runner-up Darius Danesh. As on Let Got, Lavigne is the main event. The best example of this is in "Forgotten", the way her voice morphs and swells throughout the track before exploding onto that Tool like the chorus is superb. Her ability to deliver the simple hooks on the album made her such a beloved artist. "Fall To Pieces" and "Who Knows" are the perfect demonstration. She keeps things simple and lets the song worm its way into your mind. The bridge of "Slipped Away" allows her to demonstrate her range in yet another masterful ballad.

The album still has that bubbly feel with her lyrics in dealing with relationships, but the contour and Avril's sound are darker. Her voice is the one melodic instrument she can't get away from a typical rhythm section along with numerous effects that backs up the nineteen-year-old, and the product is one that can only be described as Avril's. And that's a statement that any proud musician would want to receive from a listener. "Under My Skin" is a unique piece of work and worth a listen.